To the Board of War
Head Qrs White plains Augt 28th 1778
Your favor of the 14th Instant has been duly received.1
The object which the Board have in view is desireable—and I wish it may be accomplished; however I cannot entertain a hope that accurate returns can be obtained here of the Officers who have served in the Army from the beginning of 1777 to the present time, and I am certain it will be impossible to ascertain the dates of their Commissions. The States never transmitted me lists of their appointments—and the perpetual changes which have taken place from death—resignations—the confusion of rank &c. &c. have put it out of my power to procure a competent knowledge of them. I believe the Board will not be able to form a Register with any regularity, but from the arrangemt now in contemplation; Nevertheless the Cols. & Officers commanding Corps will use, I am persuaded, their best endeavours to make the Returns requested by them, having received orders for the purpose.2 I have the Honor to be with great respect Gentn Your Most Obedt servant
Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. The board’s letter of 14 Aug. has not been found.